13 things to do in Suffolk over August Bank Holiday weekend

The Kids Group at last year's Maui Waui Festival Picture: JERRY TYE

The Kids Group at last year's Maui Waui Festival Picture: JERRY TYE - Credit: Jerry Tye (Copyright)

From a cactus and chilli festival to custom cars, there is plenty to keep you busy this weekend.

1. Maui Wai Festival

August 24 to 26

Peakhill Farm, Theberton

Adult weekend £100, teen 13-17 £70, under 12s free, day tickets available

Maui Waui is a three day festival of international music, performance and arts. Now in it 6th year it is fast becoming one of the area most exciting festivals in East Anglia, pulling in accomplished as well as undiscovered bands and performers from all around the globe.

Maui Waui focuses on an all-welcoming family feel with lots to do for children. For the adults it hosts world class bands, full circus shows in a dedicated circus tent, small upbeat bands and acoustic acts, plus cabaret and comedy.

Most Read

New for 2018 is the World Music Café Stage – An exciting new stage to showcase world music from around the globe, expect late night Flamenco shows, traditional Reggae and live African music. There are six stages at Maui Waui from the Main Stage in the Big Top (Electro Swing, Folk, Funk, Soul & Reggae) to the ‘Crime Scene’ DJ dance tent (Electro, Techno, Trance) and Flavour Parlour Stage which showcases some of the best budding music in the UK.

2. Summer Saturday Live - The Vamps

August 25

Newmarket Racecourse

£25 to £38

The Vamps will be headlining Summer Saturday Live at Newmarket Racecourses after an afternoon of horseracing. The gates open at 11.40am, first race at 1.40pm and last race 5.45pm.

The Vamps are one of the most successful current British bands, having achieved a huge chart success worldwide. Releasing their debut single ‘Can We Dance’ in 2013, they have since clocked up five top ten hits including ‘Wild Heart’, ‘Last Night’ and Somebody To You’.

Child tickets are available when purchasing your adult tickets. Children aged 15 and under are free of charge, but must be registered at point of booking.

READ MORE: This is where you can see Strictly Come Dancing professionals in East Anglia

3. Tractor Fair 2018

August 25

Suffolk Food Hall, Ipswich


Thousands are expected at the fourth annual tractor fair at Suffolk Food Hall on Saturday against a picturesque backdrop of the River Orwell.

Farming machinery old and new will be on display, there will be live music throughout the day and children can enjoy tractor and pony rides. There will also be a visit from Tractor Ted. The event runs from 10am to 5pm and there will be tasty food on offer include a barbecue and ice creams. There is free entry and free parking at the event.

4. Custom Car Show

August 26

Stonham Barns

Adults £8, five to 16-year-olds £5, under 5’s free

Hot rods, rockabilly and the world’s fastest VW Beetle will all be appearing at Stonham Barns this weekend in the first ever Knucklebusters at The Barns cars and bikes show with over 500 vehicles expected at the event. Also paying a visit will be the world’s only drag-racing VW Beetle – customised over three years at a cost of £100,000 by Andy Raw of AMR Motors and TSR Engine Conversions of Newmarket. You can also purchase weekend tickets with camping available from August 24 to August 27 with live DJs and bands on the Saturday and Sunday nights. The live music artists include The Hal Wrayzer Combo, The Blazin Aces, Tim Aves Wolfpack and DJ Nadge and The Foxy Rock Dancers. The main Show and Shine car show event will take place on Sunday between 10am and 5pm.

5. Suffolk Cactus and Chilli Festival

August 26 to September 2

Urban Jungle Suffolk, Beccles

A week long festival celebrating all things spicy and spiky. An amazing selection of Cacti with special offers and workshops. 100s of brightly coloured chillies, of all shapes, sizes and heat. Chilli inspired dishes and cocktails. Browse the amazing selection of hardy and interior Cacti, Succulents, Agaves, Yuccas, and other desert lovers, with some rare and unusual species too. Enjoy special offers on Cacti and Succulents all week.

Throughout the week Cafe Jungle will be serving up some wonderful chilli inspired dishes, street food and cocktails.

READ MORE: 11 great shows coming to the Ipswich Regent this season

6. An Officer and a Gentleman

Ipswich Regent

August 27 to September 1

From £23

Based on true events, An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical follows the Oscar-winning film starring Richard Gere. Zack Mayo is in training to become a US Navy Pilot.

When he rolls into boot camp with a bit too much of a swagger, drill Sergeant Foley doesn’t make life easy for him. When he falls for local girl Paula Pokrifki and tragedy befalls his friend and fellow candidate, Zack realises the importance of love and friendship and finds the courage to be himself and win the heart of the woman he loves. Its feel-good soundtrack includes the hit song from the movie ‘Up Where We Belong’ along with many 80s classic anthems including Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Livin’ On A Prayer and Material Girl.

7. Thorpeness Classic Car Rally

The Pavilion

August 26


The popular Thorpeness Car Rally returns for its fourth year. A six acre field takes some filling and last year the combination of people ,classic cars ,motorcycles, tractors,and a steam road roller produced an energised atmosphere not witnessed for many a long year at the Thorpeness.

There will be a barbecue selling burgers and bacon rolls backed up by a licensed bar selling Suffolk brewed Green Jack ales as well as a selection of drinks from cans or bottles as well as tea and coffee. Free entry for the public and exhibitors.

8. Cider Festival

King’s Head, Hadleigh

August 24 to 27

The pub, which has run a beer festival for the last 10 years, invites you to enjoy more than 20 draft ciders from Suffolk, Norfolk and The West Country at its first cider festival from 12pm onwards each day.

Launched due to demand, there will be been running a beer festival annually for 10 years, cider festival was organised to meet demand, Scrumpy, traditional ciders, Perry’s, and fruit ciders. There’s also live music in the evenings, wood fire pizza and a bouncy castle for the kids.

9. Day Out With Thomas

East Anglian Railway Museum, Chappel Station

August 25 to 27

Calling all little engineers, the number one blue engine has a day of family fun planned. The Fat Controller will be on hand to make sure he’s being a really useful engine while Rusty and Dusty, Sodor’s station sweepers, will be causing mischief.

The event runs from 10am to 4.30pm each day and trains run from 10.30am.

READ MORE: Joe Pasquale discusses 30 years in comedy ahead of anniversary tour coming to region

10. Foxhall Heath Stadium


August 27

Another action-packed race meeting in the bowl.

As is traditional, the wreck or win bangers are in town, joined by the elite oval race cars that are the National Hot Rods and the single-seater rockets that are the Grand Prix Midgets.

If he’s behaved himself, Spedeworth / Incarace Mascot Timmy the Tyre will put in an appearance to say hi to the kid’s on track throughout the afternoon.

The famous Banger Caravan Destruction Derby finishes off the day.

Turnstiles open at 12.30pm and racing starts at 2pm.

11. High Summer Hands on History Days

Kentwell Hall, Long Melford, Sudbury

Until August 27

More than 250 authentically costumed Tudors will help you immerse yourself in the smells, sounds and sights of how your ancestors lived. Try everything from food preparation and serving the gentry to candle making, to helping the dyers, carding and spinning in the wool shed. Always popular are the alchemist, archers and forgers. The event runs from 11am to 5pm.

READ MORE: Did you Listen to the Man? George Ezra Newmarket Nights gallery

12. Tractors, Diggers and Toys

Easton Farm Park, Easton, Woodbridge

August 25 to 27

Youngsters have a fascination for agricultural machinery so this huge range of vehicles and equipment will mesmerise, along with a programme of activities designed to educate and encourage youngsters to be more aware of animals on the farm from 10.30am to 5.30pm each day.

These include hug a bunny, pony and cart rides, barrel bug rides, pony rides, egg collecting, holding chicks and more.

13. Suffolk Owl Sanctuary

Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal

August 29 to 30

Although not strictly over August Bank Holiday weekend, this is a great boredom buster to keep the kids busy next week. Find out more about the charity’s work and, from 10am-4.30pm, young visitors can enjoy free face-painting and magic.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter